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Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017: Reformation 500th Anniversary year

      Today marks the beginning of the 500th anniversary year of Luther's Reformation.  For my celebration, I would repeat a portion of Franz Pieper's essay reviewing C.F.W. Walther's essay “The Fruitful Reading of Luther's Writings” given in a 2012 blog post.  Just a small portion will do:
Walther's … first thesis points out that a unique meaning comes with Luther's writings in comparison with all other theological writings. The first thesis is:  “To desire and love the reading and studying of Luther’s writings, it is necessary before all things that one vividly recognizes that Luther is not to be reckoned with the usual pure theologians, but the Reformer selected by God of the Church and was the revealer and slayer of the Antichrist.”  In carrying out this thesis, it states: “Luther is the only theologian who is prophesied in Scripture. He is beyond all doubt, the angel that Revelation 14:6 speaks of. He is no doubt the one who after 2 Thess. 2 reveals the Antichrist and should destroy him.”

You can also find a full translation of this very same essay by Pieper in Matthew Harrison's book At Home in the House of My Fathers, pages 686-690.  LC-MS President Harrison prefaced his translation of Pieper this way:
“It is not self-evident that all pastors will be familiar with the writings of Luther. But what a homiletical gold mine! What a source for insight into care for souls! What a glorious invitation to understand the Gospel is given us in the writings of Luther!” 
        – Matthew Harrison

I invite LC-MS President Matthew Harrison to begin his celebration of this year of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation by reading again his own translation of
Franz Pieper's review of
   C.F.W. Walther's essay extolling the fruitful reading of
       Luther's writings.
Then I would ask Harrison to review my series on Franz Delitzsch… and ask himself:
How was it that the great German Lutheran theologian Franz Delitzsch fell from the pure Christian doctrine that C.F.W. Walther pointed him to?

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